PA Smart Initiative aims to help businesses expand job training


The Departments of Labor and Industry and Community and Economic Development have been working to expand these apprenticeship programs to new industries. They say it’s the wave of the future when it comes to job recruiting in Pennsylvania. 

“I cannot stress the importance of developing new talent,” said Tyson Berkey, Operations Manager for Tooling Dynamics.

Tooling Dynamics is a York County business with more than 200 employees, but it’s an aging workforce is resulting in skilled workers retiring, with nobody to replace them. 

“Our growth is really limited to how quickly we can bring on skilled labor to our company and our workforce,” said Berkey. 

Which is why they are receiving almost $44,000 in grant money to create new apprenticeship programs. That will allow the company to train younger workers for the jobs they so desperately filled. 

“We have a fairly older workforce in the state of Pennsylvania. So, we need to get these younger people, give them options for coming into these businesses,” said Dennis Davin, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development. 

In 2016, the Apprenticeship and Training Office was established. Since then, the number of apprentices across the state has increased 27% to 16,000. 

Davin stressed the importance of continuing to expand those programs. 

“We want to hit as many businesses as we can throughout the state of Pennsylvania,” said Davin. 

The goal now, Davin says, is to double the number of registered apprentices in the state by 2025. 

We want to put more attention and more dollars to these programs. Because, we think they’re very successful,” said Davin. 

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